Stihl FS 70 R String Trimmer Review

Stihl FS 70 R string trimmer

These days, cordless equipment is bigger than ever. That pretty much goes for both consumers and Pros, especially as more states adopt fuel requirements and noise ordinances. Nonetheless, there are still plenty of places to use gas and legions of purists who want to use it. So, naturally, I wanted to get my hands on the Stihl FS 70 R string trimmer.

A little while back, I put this model to work on a lot that requires loads of trimming. Here’s what I thought about the performance and design.

Stihl FS 70 R Trimmer Background

Stihl string trimmer

At the heart of the FS 70 R is a 27.2cc engine. According to Stihl, that’s this model’s defining component.

For one, they say that it’s the more powerful sibling of the FS 56 RC-E, even though they have the same size engine. Furthermore, Stihl promotes the FS 70 R as being more efficient, requiring fewer refills. I certainly liked the sound of that with gas prices what they’ve been for the last few years.

So, the big question is: Do these statements hold up? In my opinion, the answer is yes.

Stihl FS 70 R Performance Rundown


Stihl FS 70 R engine

Naturally, the ignition process is the best place to kick things off. This tool is a great starter. After a handful of pumps to prime the carburetor, it fired up on the second pull.

FS 70 R 27.2cc engine

And with the first few revs of the engine, it was clear that this thing is powerful.


Stihl FS 70 R cutting head

As I do with all of my equipment tests, I put this unit to work on PTR‘s mid-Atlantic proving ground. Here, I have half an acre of fescue grass grown to various heights and thicknesses. What’s more, there’s a plethora of hardscaping that only adds to the property’s trimming demands.

Stihl has a formidable trimmer in the FS 70 R. It whipped through dense overgrowth no problem. Moreover, I encountered no tangling and saw (and heard) no signs that the engine was straining.

  • Model: Stihl FS 70 R (4144 200 0137)
  • 27.2cc engine
  • Easy2Start technology
  • Tank: 11.5 oz.
  • Weight: 10.6 lbs.
  • Cutting Swath: 16.5 inches

Its 16.5-inch cutting swath made short work of patches in places that were too tight for mowers.

Furthermore, whenever I needed more trimmer line, I gave the AutoCut head a quick bump, and, voilà.

Regarding efficiency, Stihl wasn’t kidding about this unit requiring fewer refills. After intensive 30-minute work sessions, I still had around a quarter of a tank remaining.


Stihl trimmer handling

There are plenty of conveniences that come along with cordless units, but one of the tradeoffs is the additional weight of the battery. That said, gas models like the FS 70 R can be lighter.

This trimmer has great balance and runs with minimal vibration. After three 30-minute trimming sessions, I experienced little to no fatigue. It was also easy to maneuver, even in tight spaces.

Stihl FS 70 R Design

In terms of design, the FS 70 R stands out for its comfort and ergonomics.

I love the handle and controls on this tool. Their positioning is just right, particularly with the trigger lockout. Merely wrapping my hand around the grip engaged this safety feature, and that made operating the trimmer seamless and extremely comfortable. (It also made it a lot less annoying. I’ve worked with some models where the trigger lockout became a real nuisance to the point of hindering my workflow.)

Stihl's string trimmer trigger lockout is extremely well designed

Stihl put some thought into that with the FS 70 R, and it paid off.

Finally, other notable design features that made a difference in overall function include the tool’s heavy-duty steel-on-steel clutch and a fully lined drive shaft for smooth operation.

Bottom Line

Stihl has marketed the FS 70 R primarily as a Prosumer model, but this tool is capable of light to medium commercial work. The shaft may not be quite as robust as many professional models, but I feel confident in saying that the cutting power is comparable.

In short, it straddles the two performance grades.

However, based on my experience (and I trimmed A LOT), Stihl’s standout achievement with this trimmer is the handle design.

Overall, it’s very comfortable. In addition, the ergonomics are excellent, especially the trigger lockout, which you can easily engage with your hand’s natural grip.

One thing that the design team should consider is rounding the edges of the trigger, largely to further enhance the already top-notch comfort factor. It would be a practical improvement, too, as your finger would slide over the trigger and into position with ease.

Stihl FS 70 R Availability

The Stihl FS 70 R sells for $319.99 and comes with a two-year limited warranty.

Still interested in battery? Check out the Stihl FSA 135 R.

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